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The Tragedy Paper (Book) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

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Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
4.5/ 5


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We liked?


Engrossing tale, masterfully written.

Not so much?


Tragic themes may be upsetting for some kids.


Final Fiendish Findings?

The Tragedy Paper is an upcoming novel by Elizabeth LaBan. It is one of those rare books that can appeal to kids and adults alike, but The Tragedy Paper is marketed as a teen and young adult book. It is told from two different perspectives, Tim’s and Duncan’s, and LaBan does a great job of putting you inside the head of two very different individuals in love and showing you how much we are all so very much alike. As the story unfolds, you are drawn into the tale, wanting nothing so much as to find out what happens next, and how everything, good and band, turns out for Duncan and Tim. There is absolutely no offensive content in The Tragedy Paper, making it a great read for just about anyone, young and old. Look for The Tragedy Paper in January of 2013.

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Posted December 10, 2012 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

“Enter here to be and find a friend.”

When Duncan enters the Irving School for his senior year of high school, he has many thoughts and hopes for what his final year at the school will bring. Like most kids his age, he worries about  things like getting a great room (seniors get to skip the roommate thing). After growing close to her in his junior year, he has hopes of kindling a budding relationship with a great girl named Daisy. He worries and dreams about doing a great job on the major senior project, the tragedy paper. But most of all, Duncan hopes to put the bad events of his previous year behind him.

What is a tragedy? It is an interesting and thought provoking question, and one that students at the Irving School spend much of their senior years pondering. The English teacher, who just happens to live on the senior dorm, talks about and builds up to this project the entire year, and even younger grades worry about when it will be their turn. It is a thesis of sorts, where students must find and discuss a major tragedy, in both literary and literal terms. How to start such a massive project, how will he get it written, and most importantly, what it will be about are all on Duncan’s mind as he crosses the threshold to his room.

Unfortunately, the room Duncan gets is not what he had hoped, but little does know at that moment how much this room will change his life. It is the tradition at the Irving School for departing seniors to leave a gift for the next one to occupy their room. At first, Duncan thinks of his gift as the very thing he wants to avoid, but soon he comes to realize that what he has been given is a chance to both know the truth about a great tragedy, and find a subject for his tragedy paper as well. As he immerses himself in the story of Tim MacBeth, an unusual former senior at the Irving School, Duncan begins to learn from Tim’s mistakes, particularly with regards to Daisy, not wanting to miss out on what could have been.

Tim is an albino who has struggled with being different his whole life. While Tim is generally the type to hide in plain site and not draw attention to himself, when he falls in the love with the very popular Vanessa after transferring to Irving in the middle of senior year, everything he knows about himself changes. Duncan is a fairly normal kid who has attended Irving School for years. While he has a lot going for him, he is generally pretty timid about stretching himself, particularly with regard to the girl he likes, Daisy. As Duncan learns more and more of Tim’s tale, he finds himself changing without even realizing it.

The Tragedy Paper is an upcoming novel by Elizabeth LaBan. It is one of those rare books that can appeal to kids and adults alike, but The Tragedy Paper is marketed as a teen and young adult book. It is told from two different perspectives, Tim’s and Duncan’s, and LaBan does a great job of putting you inside the head of two very different individuals in love and showing you how much we are all so very much alike. As the story unfolds, you are drawn into the tale, wanting nothing so much as to find out what happens next, and how everything, good and band, turns out for Duncan and Tim. There is absolutely no offensive content in The Tragedy Paper, making it a great read for just about anyone, young and old. Look for The Tragedy Paper in January of 2013.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)